If you’re invited to a baby shower, you might be worried about what to bring as a gift. Your safest bet for a useful and heartfelt gift for a mother-to-be and her baby on the way is a hand-crafted baby blanket.

Baby showers can be complicated when it comes to gift-giving because certain items can imply assumptions on the parenting style of a mother-to-be. For example, getting breastfeeding supplies could backfire if she doesn’t intend to breastfeed or has difficulty with nursing after the baby is born. Having a baby is a very personal endeavour, so getting any baby shower gifts that could imply judgements about motherhood could be upsetting. Since a baby shower is supposed to be a happy occasion, veer away from these problem areas and offer a present that will be useful and inoffensive. If you are a person who enjoys crafts, a perfect present to give a mother-to-be is a hand-made baby blanket.

Baby blankets are excellent gifts because they will always need to be used, whether that’s for nursing, swaddling, sleeping or playing. Visit the website Yarnspirations to find knitting tools and yarn for your baby blanket — the yarn should be incredibly soft and specifically made for infants, because of their sensitive skin. Ideally, the blanket should be made with a yarn that is machine-washable, because it is very likely to get messy when being used by a newborn. You can find a variety of baby blanket designs on the main website, or check out the Yarnspirations Blog to see the newest patterns that crafters are excited to try.

When knitting or crocheting a baby blanket for a shower, remember to choose designs that don’t make any unwanted implications. If the parents want a baby shower with gender-neutral presents and you hand them a bright pink blanket for a girl, they could be offended. Remember it’s always okay to ask what parents looking for to get a better gauge of their taste—it may ruin the surprise of what you’re gifting them, but at least you will avoid an unpleasant surprise. If you don’t want to spoil the surprise but want to avoid upsetting the parents, choose gender-neutral colours like white, bright yellow and mint green.

Another important tip for knitting your baby shower blanket is to never customize it with a monogram. If the baby isn’t born yet, the parents can always change their mind about the name or how to spell it. Monogramming your baby shower gift is also not a good idea in case the parents are planning to have another baby or more in the future. Not using a monogram will make sure that they can pass down the blanket to the baby’s siblings.

A well-made baby blanket is a safe, practical and lovely gift that the mother-to-be will really appreciate. If you use the right fabric, colour and design for the baby blanket, it is sure to be adored by baby and parent alike.